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Item #: OP2659-729
THE PEASANTS OF CHAMOUNI CONTAINING AN ATTEMPT TO REACH THE SUMMIT OF MONT BLANC; AND A DELINEATION OF THE SCENERY AMONG THE ALPS William Harvey 1828 2nd edition Fine/VG
By Harvey, William attributed as the author for the 1826 second edition, probably 1st as well.
[ SOLD ]

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Detailed Product Description
See more images below, and an excerpt from the book.

London, 1826, 2nd edition. 164 pp. Allegedly the inspiration for Albert Smith to climb Mont Blanc. The 1823 first printing of the first edition was written by an anonymous author, William Harvey is attributed as the author for the 1826 second edition. Engraved title page and engraved frontispiece.

This is a rare Mont Blanc item, a children's book, that describes the 1820 Hamel attempt to ascend Mont Blanc where the first mountaineering fatalities occurred on the mountain. Albert Smith wrote in his book The Story Of Mont Blanc that he read this book as a child and that it was his first inspiration to climb Mont Blanc. He must have liked the book because he wrote that he still possessed it as an adult.

This is a small book, 7 1/2 inches high and 5 1/2 inches wide, about 1/2 inch thick. The binding is a modern 3/4 calf leather binding with marbled boards (leather on spine and corners), exterior condition Very Fine. The cover has no rubbing, scratches, or any other flaws, so it may be recent. We acquired this book on our last trip to England about 5 years ago.

The interior has no foxing or stains, on a few pages there are some small creases and tears with no missing chips.  There are several blank front endpapers, and there is a previous owner's name written (dated 1838) on two of the pages, and British climber Geoff Milburn's signature on one page. This copy is Fine on the exterior, and Very Good in the interior.

As of 2016 there appears to be only one copy of the first edition for sale on the internet, a less than VG copy for $2600. This may be the first copy we have ever had.

'Will you tell us something about the pretty Swiss children, who wear garlands of roses wreathed in their hair, mamma? Will you tell me about the Alps, and about the little girls bringing wild strawberries? You were reading a tale to papa, one evening, which I know very well had something to do with. Switzerland; it was in French; I tried to catch a word now and then, but Edward and I were playing with the traveling map, and I did not like to interrupt you.

An excerpt:

'Switzerland, said Mrs. L. were called Helvetii; their descendants are a brave people, great lovers of liberty, remarkable for the simplicity of their manners, and for their politeness to strangers. Switzerland is divided into twenty-two cantons, or provinces. The climate is as mild and delightful as that of France: no country in the world surpasses it in diversity of appearance.'

'The vast chain of Alps, which are the highest mountains in Europe; extensive regions of perpetual snow; and glaciers which are prodigious fields of ice, resembling frozen seas, are contrasted with the vineyard and cultivated fields, the richly-wooded eminence, and the verdant and tranquil vale with, its cheerful villages, white-washed cottages, and crystal streams. Did your Henrietta live in one of those cottages mamma?'

'The tops of many of the Alps are perpetual snow. When the warm rays of the sun melt the surface of the snow, the water rushes in torrents down the rugged sides of the mountains, forming cascades of uncommon beauty. The hollow spaces that lie between the rocky summits are called valleys, though raised at a great height above the level country, and formed of ice frozen into many fantastic shapes, and mingling hues with the softer scenery.'








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